Monday, April 9, 2012

8/40: Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden StrengthIntrovert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was very validating for me. I learned a little about myself and a little about my husband. It was interesting to read and take something away from each chapter even if I am not as introverted in some aspects as the author describes. Knowing I don't have to apologize for my natural tendencies was very validating for me to realize. Just because I'm not doing something in the extrovert world doesn't mean I'm lonely, there is something wrong with me or I have no friends.

I bookmarked a lot of pages in this book to keep for future reference but thought I'd share a few points that spoke greatly to me.

"Introversion is an inward orientation to life,..."
An introvert will naturally want to focus on the self, the inner life. Not just of ourselves but of others. We don't care what so and so did, we want to know what YOU are feeling INSIDE. I'm big on feelings and now it makes a little more sense. I want the inner dialogue. I want the feelings you're hiding. That is real to me. Gossip is boring.

Introverts are not anti-social or asocial. From childhood to now there's always the worried looks when I say I don't like parties. I don't like to go out to the bar, etc. Remember that trip I went on with my two besties? We sat in a hotel room and read and didn't speak to each other? BLISS. Not anti-social at all. I can't tell you how many times someone has looked at me with worry when I say my plans for a Friday night are laundry and reading with a cup of tea. No TV, no party, no friends out and about. I'm late twenties so I guess there is something wrong with me going home and sitting on my couch reading. I used to feel that way sometimes. Why don't I want to go out? Everyone else seems to be. There's nothing wrong me with and I won't apologize for doing something that makes me happy.

Cyberspace is a haven for most introverts. We get the interaction we need when we choose. We can turn it off when we have had our fill. This picture may seem sad to a lot of people, but it's so true. I have more friends online than I do in real life. Sad? Maybe, but think of it this way. I have meaningful friendships with these people and care about them deeply. They don't mind if I disappear for a while. A tweet or facebook update and they know I'm still around. They don't get upset if I don't "talk" to them for a while. We have shared interests which brings us closer.

If you ask an introvert how many friends they have, they can probably count on one hand. Those are the people that they hold near and dear and will do almost anything for. (I've excluded my family here since that would fill up several hands)

There are so many more great lightbulb moments in this book. If you have an introvert spouse, or you are the introvert, pick this one up and read it. You'll learn a little and understand a little and hopefully find a way to mesh together. My husband and I are both introverts but both very different. He retreats to sports and community. I retreat to books and movies. Ask us to go out for a party and we'll both say no, and after reading this, there will be no excuses or "maybe next times".
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